Watching the footage of the Boston Marathon blasts sent a shiver down my spine.
The horror of such atrocities were there for all to see and left the world mourning more loss of innocent life.
Like millions of others around the globe I was stunned by what happened, and was somewhat morbidly gripped to replay after replay on Sky News.
However, the fact I had such feelings of sadness and a heightened awareness of my emotions came as something of a surprise to me.
Up until seven years ago, and for the best part of a decade and a half before that, I was so gripped by my gambling addiction that I didn’t feel a thing for anything other than placing bets – 24/7.
Not only were family members, girlfriends and pals almost rendered meaningless and surplus to requirements in my mind, but also disasters anywhere on the planet – and there’ve been a few – didn’t even register with me. It was as if the real world didn’t exist anymore.
I was so swallowed up by gambling that I lost touch of reality as well as, on some days, losing my mind. My short ebook, A Gambler’s Tale – Back From The Brink, is an overview of just a handful of my thoughts and experiences during the life-threatening rollercoaster and all-consuming mental illness that is compulsive gambling.
Even though so some days are mightily tough still, my life is so much better now than it was back then and my last bet was on 5 February 2006. I want to keep it that way, but can only do so one day at a time.
I do not take any satisfaction at all from seeing the pain, anger and distress the Boston Marathon incident has caused many people.
But I am glad that recovery has given me the strength to ‘put pen to paper’ and write this blog and to let the good people of Boston know that I, like lots of others everywhere, have them all firmly in my thoughts.
Yours in recovery.